By Esther Misa Chavez
Manila – Popular radio star, Ester Chavez, Queen of Filipino Radio Drama, passed away at 93. She started her radio career at 17 and was still doing radio once a week at the age of 87. It gave her purpose and joy.
Her voice is recognizable by several generations of Filipino radio listeners. She was a star in Tiya Dely’s daily radio drama. In between her radio programs as talent and producer, she had 56 movie credits to her name, shot from 1976 to 2004, and numerous TV series such as Anna Liza, Home Along the Riles, My Son, My Son, Manok ni San Pedro, and Tang-tarang-tang among others, with outstanding actors like Vilma Santos, and Eddie Garcia, comedians Dolphy, Pugo, and Patsy Pachochay.
She was no stranger to award winning directors such as Lino Brocka, Lupita Kashiwahara and Mario O’Hara.
She received rave reviews in “Kung Mahawi Man ang Ulap” (1984), OOOps, Teka Lang, Diskarte ko ‘to” (2001) and “Maging Sino Ka Man” (1991). As a character actor, she portrayed a myriad of personalities from victim, mother, grandmother, counselor, judge, and mother superior. In radio, she is well remembered in “Tanging Kong Pag-ibig,” and “Ilaw ng Tahanan.”
In retirement and even in illness, she retained her perfect comic timing and wit. She could crack up her family and caregivers with her dry humor. “Aling Chayong” of the famed radio drama “Ilaw ng Tahanan” (Light of our home), made her final curtain call on May 31, 2021.
Ester Chavez was married to the late Col. William Chavez. She had three children, her sons Armando “Mandy,” and Andrew “Ji.” Her only daughter, Annabelle “Bebet” passed on August of 2020. Ester has ten grandchildren and five great grandchildren that calls her Great Lola. She has two surviving siblings, Myrna Vance and Lory de Jesus-Jacoby. To them, she will always be a superstar. #